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Turning Point: Pollard Power

April 11, 2019 07:42 IST

Kieron Pollard

IMAGE: Kieron Pollard smashed a brilliant 83 from 31 balls to lift Mumbai Indians to victory. Photograph: BCCI

Rohit Sharma was rested because of an injury and stand-in Captain Kieron Pollard led from the front with the bat to power Mumbai Indians to a superb 3 wicket victory against Kings XI Punjab in a thrilling finish.

Pollard smashed a brilliant 83 off just 31 balls, laced with 10 sixes and 3 fours, to help Mumbai Indians chase down a huge 198 for victory.

Even though he perished in the final over, he had done enough to keep his team on course for a win as Alzarri Joseph and Rahul Chahar completed the job in singles and a couple of the last ball.

 

In Rohit's absence, Pollard promoted himself to No 4 and was out in the middle as early as the 8th over.

He started off cautiously as Mumbai lost a few early wickets and were struggling on 65/3 in 10 overs at the halfway stage.

Pollard signalled his intent as he lofted Ravichandran Ashwin for a straight six in the 11th over off the sixth ball he faced, and from thereon there was no stopping the tall West Indian.

He took a special liking for young Sam Curran's bowling, hitting the England pacer for a couple of sixes and a boundary in the 12th over to keep the asking rate in check.

Pollard carted Punjab Captain Ashwin for a couple of big sixes in the 14th over as Mohammed Shami put Punjab in control with two wickets in the 16th over, leaving Mumbai to get 54 from 4 overs for victory with 4 wickets in hand.

From this point onwards, it was the Pollard show.

Curran again suffered, getting hit for a couple of sixes in the 17th over before Shami bowled a tight over, conceding just 8 runs, leaving Mumbai to get 32 from 2 overs for victory.

With no other bowling options, Ashwin was forced to continue with Curran and that proved decisive for Mumbai as Pollard hammered him for a 4 and 2 sixes, to get 17 from the penultimate over.

In the final over, Pollard hit Ankit Rajpoot for a 6 and a 4 in the final over before he was caught at deep midwicket, with 4 runs needed from 4 balls.

Alzarri Joseph (15 not out) kept his cool to take Mumbai to a superb victory.

Harish Kotian / Rediff.com
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